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C O N T E X T

El Paso U.S. Courthouse

Graceful Synthesis EL PASO COURTHOUSE COURTESY ALEXANDER VERTIKOFF; ANCIENT OAKS COURTESY RICK PATRICK MUSEUM COURTSEY J.GRIFFIS SMITH/TEXAS HIGHWAYS ; SINGING BELL RANCH COURTSEY CHARLES DAVIS SMITH, AIA

by STEPHEN SHARPE, HON. TSA

Museum of the Pacific War

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Ancient Oaks

This edition’s featured projects strike a balance between a building’s unique program and the desire for synthesis with its surroundings. The design of the U.S. Courthouse in El Paso directly relates to the region’s geography and history, while adhering to stringent security standards; the restoration of Ancient Oaks near Bastrop recaptures a once-lost sense of place through sensitivity to existing conditions; the Museum of the Pacific War in Fredericksburg demonstrates how to tell a heroic story through architecture without overwhelming a small town’s historic fabric; and Singing Bell Ranch quietly nestles in its rural grassland setting to offer its city-dwelling owners a getaway of “ranch pragmatism” and prevailing breezes.

Singing Bell Ranch

T E X A S

A R C H I T E C T

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Texas Architect May/June 2011: Context